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Weather is the single biggest driver of power bills. How much weather affects your electric bill depends on many factors, including your home's original construction materials, insulation, air leaks and HVAC efficiency. Personal comfort plays a role too, as does the difference between the thermostat setting inside and temperatures outdoors.
A key factor is consumer-controlled—the difference between the thermostat setting and the outdoor temperature.
When a house stays at 68 degrees Fahrenheit, but the outdoor temperature drops to near freezing, demand for heating can be significant. Warm air leaving a home wastes the money spent to heat it.
Members with heat pumps enjoy some of the most efficient heating. We recommend a relatively constant thermostat setting of 68 degrees during the heating season. Avoid advancing the thermostat more than two degrees at a time. This will cause the auxiliary heat to come on. Auxiliary heat is heat strips that supplement the heat pump. They will come on when the outdoor temperature gets near or below freezing to provide extra heat but by adjusting the thermostat up more than two degrees you cause the auxiliary heat to come on when it's not needed.
Only use the "emergency" heat setting if the heat pump is not working properly. Basically, this setting turns off the heat pump and makes the unit an electric furnace. You use two or three times more energy than you would with the regular heat pump setting.